How different kinds of spine specialists treat neck and back pain

Spine specialists are doctors who focus on treating neck or back pain related to a spine condition. If you are suffering from neck pain, back pain and other symptoms that have lasted for more than a week, your first step should be to visit your primary care physician to determine the underlying cause and recommend treatment.

For degenerative spine conditions, such as a herniated disc or osteoarthritis, many doctors initially suggest basic conservative options like rest, hot/cold therapy and over-the-counter medication. But if symptoms do not improve and begin to interfere with everyday activities, a spine specialist, who can provide more involved treatment, may be recommended.

Types of spine specialists

Whether you have been referred by your doctor or are seeking one out yourself, the variety of spine specialists out there can be overwhelming. The following information can help you have a better understanding of the different types of specialists and the care they provide. Some examples of spine specialists include:

  • Physical therapists. The goal of physical therapy is to strengthen the supporting muscles to improve range of motion and decrease pressure on the spine. This can help relieve pain and prevent future injury.
  • Chiropractors. Although not a mainstream medical doctor, a doctor of chiropractic medicine is an expert in spinal anatomy and can offer relief by adjusting the spine to ensure proper alignment. Relief from chiropractic adjustment is usually temporary and requires multiple sessions.
  • Pain management specialists. Pain management techniques can include an epidural steroid injection to provide relief. These techniques are usually temporary, but can offer much needed relief in the short-term.
  • Orthopedic surgeons or neurosurgeons. Spine surgery is usually considered when conservative options have not brought relief. Traditional open spine procedures are highly invasive, requiring a large incision that disrupts muscles and requires a lengthy recovery period.

The spine specialists at Laser Spine Institute

If you are seeking out a spine specialist for surgery because you and your primary care doctor have determined that conservative treatments have been exhausted, contact Laser Spine Institute. We perform minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back procedures, offering our patients less risk of complication and a shorter recovery period.^

Call to schedule your initial consultation with one of our spine specialists or to get a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.